Dale Steyn will be out of action for a period of up to four weeks as he rests a fractured rib but he is expected to be fit in time to take on Australia in February.
The fast bowler felt pain in his right side during the second Test against India in Durban in late December and has been diagnosed with a small undisplaced fracture to his right eighth rib.
His rest period will be between three and four weeks, which should see him back in action ahead of the first Test against Australia which starts on 12th February at Centurion Park.
"Dale dived while fielding a ball on day one of the second Test against India in Durban and complained of slight pain of his right anterior chest region," South Africa's team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee explained.
"He continued playing and bowling with mild discomfort for the rest of the Test. When the discomfort persisted after the Test match, a scan was performed which detected a small undisplaced fracture to his right eighth rib.
"He will follow a strict rest and rehabilitation programme for the next three to four weeks and we are confident he will be fit for the tour against Australia."
Steyn's rest and rehabilitation means that he will now be unavailable for the Cape Cobras in South Africa's domestic Twenty20 competition.
Steyn, ranked the second best bowler in the world according to the latest ICC rankings, has taken 350 wickets in 69 Tests at an average of 22.90.
Alongside Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, he has formed a potent pace attack that has helped South Africa reach the top of the Test rankings.
© Cricket World 2014